Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Finally, A Deal Imminent!
1) Yes, that's the word we have received from several insiders over the past 24 hours. What we have been told is that since his 'staged', public tantrum Thursday night Gary Bettman has apparently been told by his employers(owners) to get a deal done. Evidently they could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Yes, the same light Fehr informed everyone about Thursday before the Bettman tirade. Through his chief lieutenant, Daly, the NHL reached out to the NHLPA, and a meeting is set at a 'secret location' tomorrow afternoon. We're told its likely a hotel in Toronto. You can be sure the media will soon find out the exact location within an hour of the sides getting together.
2) Why are we optimistic suddenly? Our sources tell us the biggest obstacles between the sides have already been ironed out. That unless one side decides to be a jerk and change their position suddenly, all that needs to be decided are some relatively minor bones of contention. Most of which both sides are not far apart on. "None should be deal breakers". The final CBA will limit the players overall share from the current 54% to an adjusted 52% this abbreviated season down to 51% next season, then 50% the remaining years of the deal. (A form of make whole) The length is likely to be 6 years with a players option to extend it an additional 2 seasons. Contract length will also be curtailed to no more than 8 years for players under 30, and 5 years for players over 30. No year can be differ more than 10% from previous season. UFA age will go from 28 or 8 years of experience to 30 and 10. Entry level will remain 3 seasons as will arbitration eligibility.
3) What hasn't been mentioned/released is will there be a grace/ buyout period? Can teams like Montreal /Islanders buy out the contracts of albatrosses like Gomez/DiPietro? Its likely we're told. What will follow is training camps to commence on or about 12/17. No preseason games ofcourse. The abbreviated schedule to start New years Day and will be a near 50 game season that will stretch all of April (No All Star Break). The latest date for the Cup Final is tentatively set for June 26th. Allowing the draft/awards shows to stay in their current formatted time. Still lots of questions, and the outline we wrote here is still partly in flux, but based upon information from previously reliable sources this will (should) get done before the week is over. Stay tuned folks, when there is a Bettman, things are never totally set! If anyone can 'Fu-Bar' this its The Great Lockout Artist, 'The Bettman'!